Services like Bloglines enable you to export your feeds in your blogs sidebar (just make a folder with your favourite feeds).
OPML Renderer goes further and allows you to display an OPML outline in your blogs sidebar.
See this example, just click on each folder and it will load the feeds…also each item has a link to the blog homepage, and to the blog feed
…and of course you can subscribe to all the feeds in all the folders via the OPML icon.
The great thing about this is that when you add/delete an item from your OPML URL it will reflect these changes in the blog sidebar version, so if you are using the OPML URL as a blogroll, this will be a dynamic blogroll.
It would be good if each folder had a spliced feed and it’s own OPML file.
Also note that the PubSub Community Lists are featured (now that Steve Cohen has given them a URL for the OPML…formally it was just a local OPML file…here is the Pub Sub Librarian List Reading List.
Each community list has an OPML URL (indicated by a red arrow)…if you expand a list you will get a list of all the blogs along with their feeds. Since this is an OPML URL, if any of the blogs change in any of the lists, this will automagically reflect in this sidebar…these are better known as Reading Lists.
All the OPML URL’s of each PubSub Community List is available in a mega OPML URL.
Wow, and OPML that contains OPML’s…I wonder what happens if you enter this OPML into an RSS Reader, does it subscribe you to all feeds in each list.
Or you if you use BlogBridge you could subscribe to the OPML URL itself (using Reading Lists), but would this mean that you are subscribed to the 4 OPML’s via the mega OPML?
I also noticed there are Reading Lists for topics on Technorati, I’ve been harping on about how great this would be, and now it seems it’s happening (as the URL looks like it’s from Technorati itself).
[ADDED: The Reading Lists mentioned above are no longer featured on the sidebar of the blog mentioned above…see this blog instead.]
NOTE: in the example the actual blog post is an outline (well, it’s broken up into 2 outlines (OPML)), you can collapse expand sections of the post, and the post itself has an OPML…in an earlier post I was asking what are you meant to do with this OPML, I know you can view it elsewhere by entering the OPML URL into a search box…or maybe incorporate it into your own OPML.
But you can’t subscribe to it in an RSS Reader as the items are not feeds, if a post like this one is always going to update like a wiki it would be good to have a feed at the post level.
Hang on, even though the items are not feeds it still somehow subscribes into Bloglines, what happened is each section of the blog post became a folder in Bloglines, when I click on a folder obviously nothing happens…this is a bit weird, it thinks each item in the OPML of the blog post is a feed…what happened is Bloglines acted like an outliner…well I guess it is sort of, but just for feeds not text or HTML links.
I wonder what would happen if you subscribe to the OPML URL of this blog post in BlogBridge…as the items in the OPML are not feeds in a Reading List), but just text.
I wonder if it would show the latest additions made to the blog page, that is the latest nodes…this would kind of be like subscribing to a feed for a single blog post
This got me thinking back to an earlier post:
“So is it possible to have an RSS feed for an outline?
If the owner of an outline makes changes, will it reflect in your OPML reader (if these exist) when you look at that outline next. Can you be notified of these changes?
We are not only talking about new additions which RSS is great to notify us about, but we are talking about any change made to the outline…maybe if a change has been made to the outline, the feed for that outline in our OPML reader can turn bold, this is good as we know changes have been made, but what are the changes (when you look at the outline maybe the changes are highlighted, or you can compare the new version to an older version - so the reader would have to stores versions or history of the same outline)”
Back to the post…
Then along came Opod that not only can replace your blogroll in one easy box, but you can also read posts from each feed, from right there in your sidebar.
Now Bitty Browser is taking this idea (well, I suppose it is personalising it’s original idea) and going full steam ahead by providing a hosted portable RSS Reader for your sidebar that also searches the web
…my shout out came true.
You can also customise the size and buttons, etc…
Make your homepage
- enter a website URL
- whack in an RSS feed URL or even a spliced feed
- whack in an OPML URL
(whether you do this via your Bloglines OPML, etc…or an outline OPML your feeds will be organised in the same folders)
…NOTE: you can’t read a river of news by each folder.
Now I can offer two Bitty Browsers for the CWH on my sidebar, one with a spliced feed (river of news), and one with an OPML (so you can read posts by each feed).
You will also notice when you scroll to the end of the browser it will promote the feed URL of the feed you are reading, or if your are reading an OPML URL it will promote the OPML URL.
Scott from Bitty Browser is totally giving it up by offering easy subscriptions module, for del.icio.us user name or tag (but not both) , digg user name or search term, flickr tag or pool, Technorati Tag (no Search, no Blog Finder), Bloglines username (OPML), IceRocket Search - web, blogs, news (no tags), and Google Search - web, blogs, news
…actually there are different choices on the homepage.
Now you can have a versatile mini home page on your sidebar that all searches the web…the highlight for me is that I can import the OPML URL of my blogroll, and not only have an instant organised blogroll, but also read the posts there and then…active blogroll deluxe!
The part that pushes the envelope (as Opod seems to do) is that Scott (Mr. Bitty) is attempting to enable the Bitty Browser to read OPML inclusions
…an OPML URL can contain text, HTML links, or feeds…now it can even contain other OPML URL’s.
eg. PubSub Community Lists OPML URL…this OPML URL contains the OPML URL of each list (OPML’s within a bigger OPML).
If you enter this OPML URL into Bitty Browser it will list each OPML URL, and then you can click on one to see the items (in this case feeds) within a single OPML URL.
What this means is that if you make your own OPML URL’s (eg. OPML Workstation), you can actually make a root OPML that is made up of other OPML URL’s (other one’s of your own, or other peoples), this way you will have an OPML directory or menu.
So you can make this OPML menu your Bitty Browser homepage
…within this OPML menu (your mega OPML URL) you can have other OPML’s you or others have made.
Bitty Browser does have a standard menu page, but you can’t personalise this, so the way around this is to make a an OPML URL made up of other OPML’s, and then view it at Bitty Browser.
Here are some examples
As you will note the Bitty Browser will read OPML’s that contain text, links, feeds or OPML’s…this makes it not only a mini RSS Reader but an OPML Reader.
eg 1. OPML of a blog post (each item contains just text)
eg 2. OPML of a blog (each item contains a link to the blogpost…but you can’t read the blog post within Bitty Browser…hmmm)
eg 3. OPML Blogroll (each item is a homepage link)
eg 4. OPML Reading List (same as a Blogroll, but each item is a feed)
Another example is the PubSub Librarian’s Reading List
This differs to eg 3. as you can read the blog within Bitty Browser, whereas with eg. 3 it is just a list of blog homepages, where you can click to the actual blog…so eg 4. is a mini RSS Reader.
eg 5. OPML inclusions or a root OPML or an OPML menu (this is an OPML URL that contains other OPML URL’s)
This example contains the PubSub Librarian’s Reading List (mentioned above) plus some others.
[ADDED 28/02/06: OPML Browser is now called Optimal…it reads RSS feed content, and also opens OPML inclusions within the same page as an outline]